The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor noted that protecting the environment had become a crucial and government was bent on wining the fight against in protecting Ghana’s water bodies.
The five speed boats would ply along rivers Birim, Ankobra, Pra and the black Volta where such environmental ills by unscrupulous gold diggers could be located.
Mr Jinapor speaking at the commissioning ceremony at Beposo in the Western Region, the Minister said, “Today must be a happy day, not only for the residents of the Beposo and its environs but for the people of Ghana, and the millions of people who rely on our river bodies for their livelihoods”.
He explained that out that though small-scale mining industry contributed almost 40 percent to the nation’s gold output, the associated environmental degradation and water pollution had become a menace for concern.
The situation he said, led to a national dialogue where a 15-point resolution was adopted including declaring water bodies as red zones.
The government again, placed a ban on the manufacture, fabrication, and use of the flotation device- the main equipment used for the pollution of water bodies.
The Minister noted that there was a demolition and decommissioning of equipment used for illegal mining in the red zone.
Meanwhile, the introduction of the community mining concept is to help promote sustainable small-scale mining as well as the alternative and livelihood employment programme.
Mr Jinapor said, ” last month, we marked another important milestone in the fight against illegal mining, particularly as it relates to the pollution of our river bodies with the commissioning of 100 Micro free gold processing equipment known as the gold catcher. Apart from their capacity to cover about 90 percent of gold from the soil and thereby giving small scale miners much more gold, it also provides an alternative means of extracting gold without polluting our river bodies and the natural environment.”
“We are grateful to the Ministry of Defence and other collaborators for the efforts as the fight against illegal mining is not a one man duty but a national concern.
He called on all Ghanaians particularly communities along various river bodies, to be vigilant and support by reporting those involved in these nefarious activities.
The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources he said, remained committed to the mission of the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo to make Ghana the mining hub of Africa by promoting an orderly, viable, sustainable, and environmentally sound small scale mining industry.
Mr Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, Western Regional Minister said water continued to be life saving gift from God and must be protected.
He urged communities and traditional authorities to stand up against the perpetrators of such ills and avoid entertaining them.
Nana Kwamena Wienu, the Head of the Shama Traditional Council encouraged the operators of the Boat not to fall for the baiting of such social miscreants but arrest offenders to serve as a deterrent to others.
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